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Ivy O: Who Is Your Wedding For?



dreamstime_l_24001127Weddings. They seem to be on everyone’s lips these days. Or so it seems to me. Maybe it’s because people in my age bracket are getting married or maybe it’s because weddings are big deals or big businesses these days. Maybe it’s because it is the age of social media and everyone doesn’t want to carry last so it’s only right to show off. Whatever it is, wherever I turn to these days, all I hear is talk of weddings.

Now I don’t have a problem with that. I know I’m not getting married any time soon so there’s no pressure, added to the fact that I am not a “wedding person”. In my whole lifetime I cannot recall attending up to ten weddings, that is including the ones I was dragged to as a child, or the ones I played the role of little bride or flower girl.

I’m in my twenties now and I still do not enjoy going for these things. I don’t enjoy large gatherings, especially the ones where there are different age groups. Add that to my being socially awkward sometimes. So when I check my snapchat every Saturday and see people tying gele and wearing agbada, I ask myself “HOW DO THEY DO IT?????”
From the intimating pre-wedding shoots to the expensive asoebi, it’s all too much to take in. Guests coming to outdo each other in terms of dressing, I could never keep up. There are some regular faces I see on Asoebi Bella every week, I ask myself how many new couples does this person know that they sew new dresses and attend weddings every week. I find it hard to get up from my bed during the weekends, much less buy material, sew and do professional Instagram-worthy makeup EVERY SATURDAY! With all the pomp, parents are definitely not left out. They have also caught up on the glamorous image weddings are supposed to have.

I’ve asked a couple of people if they would like big or small weddings, and most of them always say they prefer small weddings. So who are the people now doing big weddings? A lot of the people I asked mentioned that their parents would make a big deal out of their weddings and I figured they were right. My mum for one will try everything in her power to make my wedding a carnival. I have imagined myself having a destination wedding just to avoid the usual crowd that make up Nigerian weddings. I’d invite my parents telling them it was a holiday. When they show up I’d just say “Oya it’s my wedding oh! Just wear your clothes and come to venue”. But I know my mum will never forgive me if I pulled such a stunt.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been taking hints from her. She’d see a huge cake on TV with sparks shooting out and she’d go “That’s how your cake will be!”. Or we’d watch Say yes to the dress on TLC and she’d be chipping in opinions and tips on how she’d act if she was going wedding dress shopping with her daughter. Just dropping little hints here and there. I remember one time when she was a personal assistant to this very quiet South-South man who was married to this white lady. His kids were also married to Americans. So they didn’t have many friends here. When his last daughter was getting married he asked my mum to organise many aspects of the wedding but he wanted something small and simple. My mum’s idea of small was bringing in a large dancing troupe and 2 coaster buses filled with just office staff, excluding the family’s friends and well wishers.

I also recall one time someone made her the “Mother of the day” but she was sick and couldn’t attend. Being the Vice-President of the women’s wing of our village association, she sent women from neighbouring states to represent her. They filled up a big canopy. I honestly don’t want something too big. 250 guests at most. Pere. But I’m scared my mum will make the venue Wonderland and invite everybody she knows, which comes to about 10,000 people. I totally understand that parents want to show off their kids during weddings but is it necessary to include the unnecessary?
From the pressure from parents, to the urge to please guests, to the image you want to portray on social media, I guess there are reasons for these things. Personally I don’t see the point of a lot of these things but if it’s important to some people, that’s their cup of tea. We are different people afterall. I just do not support going out of your way to please other people on “your” wedding day if you do not have the means.

If you want to have a big wedding, that’s all good. If you want a small wedding, also fine. It’s your wedding, do what you want. I really just want to know who you are doing your wedding for. Are you doing it for yourself, for the satisfaction of having the wedding you always dreamed of. Or are you doing it for the ‘gram? Or for Bellanaija? Or for your parents? I really just want to know your opinions.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Ivy is a certified nerd who is terrible at writing bios and great at taking selfies. When she isn't eating or studying, she is most likely to found on Twitter


  1. Tru

    February 16, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I am SO going to elope. Can’t deal with wedding drama biko

  2. Nigerian Writers Hub

    February 16, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Lol.. I want a small wedding o! But my parents have their own plans. It is well. I pray to survive it. Lol

  3. I no send

    February 16, 2016 at 11:41 am

    With the type of mum you have I see a carnival wedding in your future

  4. keke driver

    February 16, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I’ve always wanted a small wedding, why spend so much on people you do not even know in the first place…I just hope my future wifey wud agree to my small wedding idea.

    • Miss pee

      February 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Lord knows I’ve being crying and nagging a small wedding ooh but a big traditional. Or better still big traditional wedding and a sole court wedding skikena! But my step mum has being ranting Patience your wedding ehn it won’t be easy ooh your mama’s people wee come, my people wee come and your mpa’s kwa. Ahem ndi uka. Me I just told her you better bring the money for all of them. I’ve resolved to the my wedding on an eke day in the week, the only issue now is my future hubby i pray he wants it, Father you know my heart desires.

    • Queen of sparkles

      February 17, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Pls lets get married.I so agree with you.if the money is too much ,Y not spend it on ur honeymoon.Big wedding are just arhhhhhh………

  5. Niyoola

    February 16, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Your wedding is for a number of people:
    1. Your parents. They who have gone to 3,000 weddings and have been buying aso-ebi since you were 1 month old‎; now you are getting married and you are saying all those people they have met over the course of attending 3,000 weddings won’t come. You must be a joker.
    From the Christian Women’s Society, to the Lagos Women’s Sorority Clubs, to all your neighbours from all flats you’ve lived in since you were born, noone is left out.

    2. Your friends. You have to show them that you have arrived. Rub it in heir facesm it doesn’t matter if your friends don’t have money; fix asoiebi at 100k, plan your own bridal shower (yup, no longer a surprsise party), get the most expensive vendorsn gush about how expensive your 1million naira photographer is to your friend who earns 30k a month. Your friends must know you are not mates. Als‎o ensure that their bridesmaids dresses are not too pretty.

    3. For the gram. There is nothing as lovely as SM credibilty. Everyone is retweeting your wedding pics,you have 10k likes on instagram, they are 100 comments on your wedding post on BN already, people gushing and oohing – aahing and tapping into your annointing (of course, all bad belle comments would have been removed). It doesn’t matter if you caused 2 hour traffic on Lekki expressway because you were in a Carriage – in the heat, your horses were cranky and  angry and refused to stay in ‎lane on the road. Nope, the pretty pics you got are what it’s all about.

    4. Did I forget to include the couple. Oh, the wedding is also about you, abi now???

    #JustKidding. ‎

  6. Tosin

    February 16, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Some people’s wedding’s for me.

  7. Nigerian Writers Hub

    February 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    It’s the Nigerian Mentality. Weddings must be big.

  8. E.A

    February 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I agree with many of your points, but I think it’s unfortunate many Nigerians cannot say no to their parents. If you don’t want a big wedding just say it and stick with it. This idea of letting elders get away with what they want is ridiculous. Grow up plan your wedding the way you want it to be, it’s okay to say no.

    • Natu

      February 16, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Real talk!!!!

  9. ardnas

    February 16, 2016 at 12:56 pm


  10. Haha

    February 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Lol I think Naija weddings are for the parents o, because even at the wedding reception when it’s time to dance, the focus is mostly on the overjoyous parents. Their own is to share asoebi, organise party, be sprayed cool cash, DANCE and “shame their enemies”.

  11. mr man

    February 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Ivy Says: “. I honestly don’t want something too big. 250 guests at most. Pere”

    I say thats a Paradox

    • Miss pee

      February 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      I only want 50 less persons @ my wedding. Marriage is so important than those big ceremonious weddings that sometimes no proper ventilation and then people will still complain about not eating @ your wedding.

  12. bebe

    February 16, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    My wedding 100 guests, no time oh. People will just eat have fun and move on to the next wedding, it the marriage that matters.

  13. nnennaya

    February 16, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    in Nigeria both families own the wedding. I would love a beach wedding with guest dressed in simple denims ,food served in coconut shell,no plenty plenty orishi orishi,not more than 150 guest oh. BUT that is impossible most likely , my mum quest alone would be more than half that number not to talk of my inlaws. social media aint helping matters bellanaija being the highest culprit…..!

  14. melinda

    February 16, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    weddings should be for the couple mostly, u invite guests cos u want them to rejoice with u cos u ve chosen “the one”… as for me sha small wedding will do for me

  15. Sonia Paloma

    February 16, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    250 guests? and you think that’s small?
    Here I was thinking you were going to mention 50-70 guest LOL<<<< this number is perfect in my book.

  16. whocares

    February 16, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    This wedding issue smh, I feel so sorry for my mom when I sit down to think about it. The wedding is solely for her ‘cos as I am, I can just stroll to the registry with whoever in the future and get it done beht my mom will faint! lool. I have never gone to any of my graduations (so no graduation picture of me in a gown and a cap for her to hang in the living room -2 degrees o) till today, it hurts my mom, especially on the day one of her friends came over and was boasting about how her child just completed an accounting degree in *insert in the abroad university*. My mom too now casually dropped the humble bragging “whocares even finished her masters a few years back” line (parents with their back and forth humble bragging) na so I siddon look my mom and I could have sworn I saw her eyes looked longingly at the spot on the wall she would have hung a graduation picture if i ever got it done. Beht as she did not have picture to prove it nko? LMAOOOO. .Now wedding, I am thinking that if it does happen, I want it small…I dont like all this afefe yoyo but my mom.. *sigh* she might blow a fuse… I have decided on a solution. I will have my own wedding with my limited people and have it how I want it. I will plan it with my partner and it will be our wedding. Afterwards, my mom can organise another reception at a later date and invite the whole world if she wants to. I will merely be the show pony then. The stress of it will be on her head and whoever joints the madness… except for chiping in here and there I will let her and everyone else plan to her heart’s content as I would have had my day.

  17. Olayemi

    February 16, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Don’t bother, your wedding is never for you. Make best use of your honeymoon. Lol

  18. Daisy

    February 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    We cut a deal with my parents…. Huge Engagenent and we had a very small destination wedding… It caused so many issues but it was worth it…

  19. Mercy

    February 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    My sister was a victim too, she and her hubby came to Nigeria to have a small wedding in our compound, before she knows what was happening we had to rent hall two weeks to the wedding.
    In as much as I would love to have that kind of Bella naiija wedding we get to see every now and then, I think I will stick to what my to be husband wants because his the kind of person who doesn’t believe in big weddings

  20. IG

    February 16, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Funny how i wrote a similar article on my blog recently. Like minds? 😉

  21. cocobutter

    February 16, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Please who can tell when entries for my big nigerian wedding 2016 starts?

  22. sisi oge

    February 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I wd love a small and simple wedding cuz after d wedding comes d marriage wch is d mean tin. N ivy u say 250 guess dat is quite a large number oh. #my opinionsha#

  23. Somebody save me!

    February 16, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    See the narration of my situation!!!! My mum won’t let me be hence I am having the “not the wedding of my dreams” I wish I was the last child,,, this parents of mine just experimenting with me… Hiss! Am so angry! My fiancée thinks am not excited about marrying him.., he doesn’t know its the wedding ceremony am not happy about… Less than 90 days to my wedding and I feel nothing! I wish I cud elope..,,

  24. Frustrated Bride-to-be

    February 16, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Hmmm, my very dilemma at the moment. I and my fiance want a small wedding (100 guests max in my head), my mum and family is down with whatever I want, my future mother-in-law on the other hand specifically told me “This wedding isn’t about the both of you,(errm, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation but for the both of us coming together) its about the family. He is the blah blah son and his wedding must be a particular way”. She asked me how many guests we should be planning for, i said maximum of 500 guests, she asked “From your family’s end alone right?”, now we are planning to pay for a Marquee with the capacity of 1000 guests. We have had to wait over a year since we got engaged and we still don’t have a feasible date in sight because of family disagreements on details.I suggested strictly by invitation and she has made it known point blank that it is not happening “We don’t want to offend ANYBODY and everybody must be present, including his very very extended family members that are outside the country and (let’s not leave out those that have gone to the grave too since everybody must be present). It is becoming increasingly annoying to my family especially since we don’t think some family members being outside the country should be the determining factor for choosing a date, their presence or absence isn’t a guarantee of the success of the wedding and most importantly the marriage. I am getting frustrated by the day and the whole ish with the dates, number of guests and other details is beginning to put a strain on our relationship, its taking its toll on us and I’m this close to calling everything off (again), I really don’t know what to do anymore, I just want to spend the rest of my life with this person that i fell in love with and loves me even more, is it too much to ask my future mother-in-law? Oh and not one of these “Important guests” have offered 5 kobo towards the event o, later now they will come and be spraying you ten 50 naira notes after you have emptied your account and taken loan to feed people that aren’t even hungry. Sorry for my long epistle, i just had to vent lol; To answer the question to the write up, permit me to quote Luke 14:12 -14 The Parable of the Guests;
    …12) And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. 13) “But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14) and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

    • Akosua

      February 16, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      I feel your pain sister.Same situation here. If your MIL will pay for the extra guests fine.Stick to your number.You dont need 1000 people you barely know to have a successful marriage……better still elope(seriously considering this) I wish you well. Dont let anyone steal your joy

    • Folu Orere

      February 25, 2016 at 5:29 am

      Elope…i swear i thought i would never think of eloping but it crossed my mind for the first time yesterday…must d whole world come? Popsi br talkin of saving cost then wv d same saliva be talkin of kabiyesi coming so he wants an extra band…at some point in the meeting i started playing bejeweled…#diaryofa2016bridetobe

    • Marian

      February 17, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Get your hubby to talk to his mom and get them to fix a date. It’s better coming from him and be will know how to better talk to her to get her to see things. The bride’s family gives the date or at least that’s what I was told, so your family should be the one to give them a date.

  25. Bola

    February 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Now everyone wants a small wedding . Who are those tapping into the big weddings ehn??. Any way I think everyone should have any wedding they like . Big, small , large , as long as you don’t have to BORROW. If you are spending 100,000 naira on your wedding please make sure you have double in your account for after wedding .
    Very important . Weddings in Nigeria are for parents , I wanted a 200 people wedding ( includes bridal train , all family members from both husband and wife’s side . Every single person except children ) . My mum found a way of increasing it to 250 she just cud not imagine some people not coming . We had a strictly by IV guest policy and boy was it organized . From my seat I could see everyone who came , everyone could move around , no fighting for food , people ate and ate did not leave till about 7. Was just the best . Wasn’t crowds neither was it so small . Was more of 70 percent family and 30 percent friends . P. S my mum complained her pictures were not splashed all over the wedding album ?. Moma forgot it’s not her wedding. I love u mum ?

  26. Adaeze Writes

    February 16, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    After every wedding, there’s a marriage and the marriage doesn’t care if you have a cup of garri left in the kitchen cupboard after throwing away leftovers of basmati rice and fufu (that can feed a village) at your wedding. Everyone should learn to cut his/her cloth according to his/her size. Shebi it’s this wedding that most people have and in nine months ‘we shall come visiting ehn’. Have you checked the prices of baby food, diaper, essentials and hospital bills? Should I start with school fees /crèche fees?

    Your wedding is for you and your hubby and no one else but that. As a friend used to say, ‘big weddings make you buy souvenirs for people you have never met’ and I concur because friends will bring friends and gate crashers will come no matter the hefty body guards you station at the entrance.

    I have told my parents that, my traditional wedding will be big! I’ll make sure my ‘people’ at the village and those in the city know that I’m getting married but then the Church wedding will be beautiful and simple, not too many guests abeg.

    For exciting stories, visit

  27. mr man

    February 17, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Nothing like announcing your wedding 3 days to the date via email to 20 people (including your parents who never checked their email after it was registered)….eventually it will be just the couple and 4 close friends at a quiet wedding dinner. …#bliss
    Oh, your parents are upset? Simple, let them throw their own reception in your honour, unfortunately, you can’t make it to the event, your work load at the office suddenly quadrupled….

  28. Aanuolutomiwa

    February 17, 2016 at 11:15 am

    That was how i planned just small wedding, my parents just went abt inviting people and even posted it on FB page, when i got home on wednesday to the wedding those that were already in my house are just the total number of people i was expecting for the wedding, we had to inform them in the church that the arrangement has changed. Parents just av a domineering spirit when it comes to wedding, mum be like eope meji lowo mi (u re not up to 2 that i have) and my wedding turned out to carnival and gbogbo ero tinz even without me making Invitation cards. I had less than 10 of my friend present but mum has 100’s of friends present.

  29. The Man

    March 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Weddings! The Glamour is so hilarious. I rarely attend. But for the few I attend at think the conversations at the tables and the hook-ups.

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